The Beauty of Winter
My motivation and inspiration to be in the Scottish mountains has gone through the roof recently. Winter had seemingly arrived when driving up the A9 recently there was a covering of snow right down the roadside. How beautiful it looked and this just reinforced my determination to climb up into the mountains. Walking in Winter however, has its own set of difficulties and points to be aware of when planning a trip.
Walking the mountains for me, at any time of the year, can be challenging. Meeting the physical demands required to enjoy the glorious views from the summits I can find particularly tough. Winter can be very unpredictable indeed and the conditions bring an extra level of preparation. However, they are not enough to diminish my motivation and desire to venture onto the hills. The Scottish Mountains in winter are stunningly beautiful. Anyone who has experienced this will understand, but for those who haven’t, I don’t think it is easy to explain. ‘
Below are some of the things that can make a Winter outing more challenging:
- The days are short: With so little daylight it is important not to take on more that I can handle. Being off the hill by dark is an absolute must and as a result, this can can create a little time pressure.
- Much more to carry: Going out in winter is always a bigger undertaking and its important to take enough kit and food with you. You must be sure of having enough to keep warm, and have extra for an emergency. Your rucksack can be quite heavy in winter.
- Walking in Snow: To be knee deep in snow is exhausting and I must factor in the extra energy and time it will take me. It is so important to plan carefully and not take on too much.
- The Weather: At any time of year in Scotland, the conditions can change in an instant and you must be both aware and prepared for it. Again making sure you have the correct kit is essential.
For me, in order to enjoy the mountain in Winter there are a few things I do to keep myself safe.
- Plan more thoroughly taking into account all factors
- Be prepared for anything
- Know my limits and respect them
- Be really aware of my energy levels, running out is not an option.
- Never take a risk, its just not worth it.
Enjoy! The Scottish Mountains in Winter are just spectacular and this preparation and planning makes it all worthwhile. I am feeling so excited about venturing out very soon.